Please note the swimming pool is strictly for the use of overnight guests only. Day visitors can explore our streams and Lily Pond as described at this link.
Swimming in rock pools fed by mountain streams is one of the highlights of a Cape summer. But very often getting to those pools requires a long hot hike. So the next best thing is a natural swimming pool right by your chalet. At Phillipskop we have been busy working towards that goal over the past three years and are pleased to make it available to our overnight guests. The pool is just below the self-catering accommodation and incorporates a swimming area and deck with wonderful views across the Klein River valley below. The pool water flows out to a filter pond, with water lilies, waterblommetjies, bulrushes, and other water plants that help to clean the water before it is pumped back to the swimming pool.
We started the project back in January 2019 with the planning and design. Construction work commenced in October 2019 and was finished by February 2020, fortunately just before Covid lockdown. We then had that winter to begin the planting. This continues to be a work in progress as the aim is to develop a natural planting that fits in with the landscape, rather than an instant design using ready-grown or quick growing plants. To this end, wherever possible we have used seeds and cuttings harvested from Phillipskop itself. By November 2020 the planting had established enough to start to clear the water and begin the circulation. We look forward to the plants, both in the pool and the surrounds, continuing to grow and blending in with the landscape so that the pool becomes a part of the ecology of Phillipskop itself.
Natural swimming pools offer many advantages over chlorine or saltwater pools. In particular, the filtration pond area provides a habitat for many animals, such as frogs and dragonflies. The water also contains no chemicals so when it comes time to empty and clean the pool, any discarded water does not harm the surrounding environment. This of course also means that it is better for you: no stinging eyes, dry skin or damaged hair.
Moreover, your whole swimming experience combines the benefits of a swimming pool structure (convenient steps to climb down into the water, no rocks to graze knees, decking surrounding two sides, from which the kids will enjoy jumping into the deep end) with the joys of swimming in a natural environment. The water is similar to the water you would find in a fynbos-surrounded mountain pool, so it has a brown colour from the plant tannins. You may be joined in your swim by a frog or other pond life. And you will get to enjoy the dragonflies hovering over the water lilies in the surrounding filter pond, as well as panoramic views beyond. We hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we do.
For those who are interested in finding out more about our natural swimming pool, how we designed and constructed it, the challenges we faced and our planting aims, please see our blog: